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Flathead RUNS HOT - won't cool.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ace high, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. ace high
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 202

    ace high
    Member

    I'm going nut with a running HOT issue. No boil over--just running very hot. After hitting 210 it starts running crappy.

    Block is a 51 Ford 239cu in, Fenton Heads and twin carbs. Hot tanked and magnafluxed. Isky Max-1 Cam. Radiator is aluminum 2 rows of 1" tubes.
    Running NOS 1948 thermostats. Electric Fan thermostaticaly controlled at 180 degrees. 16 pound prerssure cap. Have already done an Oxalic Acid flush.
    After 30 minutes of driving it will run up to 210 degrees. Once its up there it won't come back. I am at my wits end. HELP !!!!!!!!!!
     

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  2. pinkynoegg
    Joined: Dec 11, 2011
    Posts: 1,135

    pinkynoegg
    Member

    if it were me I would just take the thermostats out. that would eliminate them as a problem. Have you replaced the water pumps? also they sell something like water wetter that makes the fluid cool better. also a 16 pound cap is kinda high....
     
  3. jack orchard
    Joined: Aug 20, 2011
    Posts: 238

    jack orchard
    Member

    if you don't have accurate temp gauges (one for each side), shoot it with a hand-held temp gun on both sides. point it at the water outlets. this will tell you if it is one side or both. good luck...jack
     
  4. Dirty Dug
    Joined: Jan 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,646

    Dirty Dug
    Member

    That's too nice a new roadster to have that problem with, hope you find the problem. What degree thermostats do you have? Removing them from the equation may help narrow it down. Did you physically clean the water passages to remove any obstructions? Also. the heads could have casting slag in those water channels too. I once knocked about a half a cup of aluminum out of a set of original early Edelbrock heads.
     
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  5. F1James
    Joined: Jun 19, 2003
    Posts: 136

    F1James
    Member

    Stock radiator had 4 rows at least in my F-1 .I never could get it to cool right till I replaced with a new one. Also that 16# cap could be pushing water out around water pump seals stock used 4# I used an 8# on mine. In my op. dont think your raditor is large enough.
     
  6. OoltewahSpeedShop
    Joined: Oct 18, 2007
    Posts: 3,104

    OoltewahSpeedShop
    Member

    Before anybody else says it.... Just yank that thing out and I'll come by and get it out of your way.

    Just kidding. It really sounds like a flow issue. I would definitely take the thermostats out or at least try a set of washers instead, to see if it acts any different. Everything you have should make it run cool. Gotta be something simple. Are the water pumps new?

    Beautiful car by the way.
     
  7. steems
    Joined: Jun 7, 2009
    Posts: 37

    steems
    Member

    After you rule out the cooling system, double check your timing. It can also cause the engine to run hot. Good Luck.
     
  8. Da Tinman
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,226

    Da Tinman
    Member

    check the timing first! taking the thermostats out is a crutch and may not work, mine ran a hell of a lot hotter without them than it did with them.

    also do a plug check to make sure your not running lean as that will create a ton of issues beyond simple overheating.
     
  9. FlatheadFanFromMI
    Joined: Oct 26, 2010
    Posts: 65

    FlatheadFanFromMI
    Member

    Is this a new build? Have you run it with the cap off, to see if you still have air trapped? I agreee that the cap only needs 5-8 lbs. nice car, good luck.
     
  10. oldsmerc
    Joined: Feb 24, 2011
    Posts: 60

    oldsmerc
    Member
    from seattle

    I am not sure what the stock thermostats are rated at but I have always run 180 degree stats in a flathead. The engine will run at 180 to 190 and that is fine.
     
  11. 28 jalopy
    Joined: Jan 16, 2010
    Posts: 208

    28 jalopy
    Member
    from arizona

    Timing is a big contributor like mentioned before. and like Jack said about the duel temp gauges,it can help monitor bolth banks. Your car is awsome!
     
  12. oldsmerc
    Joined: Feb 24, 2011
    Posts: 60

    oldsmerc
    Member
    from seattle

    Will I ever learn how to post replies? I just started a new thread on flathead thermostats. I thought it would be a reply to yours but I must have clicked the wrong button. Let me know if you can't find it.
     
  13. check your timing
    tk
     
  14. grego31
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 451

    grego31
    Member
    from Sac, CA

    Could it have something to do with running the earlier heads on the later block. I know there is some gasket differences when you do the swap.
     
  15. Raven53
    Joined: Jan 12, 2009
    Posts: 442

    Raven53
    Member
    from Irwin Pa

    True statements ...if you remove the thermostats the water will not move slow enough in the rad to give it time to cool. Speedway sells a set of washers that will restrict it just enough to do the job. You also have to take a reading off of both heads to get an acurate reading
     
  16. pinkynoegg
    Joined: Dec 11, 2011
    Posts: 1,135

    pinkynoegg
    Member

    yes this will also do it since some of the water passages get blocked off. I don't think it would make it run that hot though. but a little hotter yes
     
  17. Dirty Dug
    Joined: Jan 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,646

    Dirty Dug
    Member

    After looking at the picture of your engine, I think it's the alternator. Replace it with a generator and surely your car will be happier in the morning. I didn't think to mention timing before but, like others have said, there are many variables.
     
  18. Those old metal Zerex cans had those plugs under the cap, perfect size for use as a restrictor in place of a t-stat.

    Bob
     
  19. ace high
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 202

    ace high
    Member

    Wow -- Sure got a lot of quick responses.
    Waterpumps are new sealed ball bearing type. My concern about taking thermostats out completely is that water may flow too fast before it has a chance to get any cooling. But I guess I'd be able to aleast see what difference up or down that I would get.
    Engine has being running in car since last summer. Timing is more toward advance without detonation. Was running a 7 pound cap, but change to 16. No difference except the 7 pound caused overflow when temp climbed. Plugs look fine. I'm wondering that the only link in the chain that is not Henry Ford (except for the heads) is the aluminum radiator. After spending the cash for the new aluminum radiator last year, I 'd hate to have to spring for a Walker S-line. Although I would if I new for sure that was the problem.
     
  20. oldsmerc
    Joined: Feb 24, 2011
    Posts: 60

    oldsmerc
    Member
    from seattle

    OK, I found the article on thermostats. I will put it as an attachment and if you can't read it send me your email and I will get it to you that way.
     

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  21. Just do 1 thing at a time. Usually the higher the cap the more the boiling point goes up, simple physics. I'd also suspect the aluminum radiator, hate to see you have to give that up after spending big $$$$ on it.

    Bob
     
  22. Dirty Dug
    Joined: Jan 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,646

    Dirty Dug
    Member

    I have U.S Radiator, copper and brass units in my two flathead powered cars and can't get the temperature above 160 on the new Stewart Warner mechanical temp. gauges which don't seem to be all that accurate. Good luck, you'll get it. Again, nice car!
     
  23. bobscogin
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,745

    bobscogin
    Member

    Or does it go through the engine too fast too absorb any heat? Since the system is full and there's water in contact with radiator and water jacket surfaces at all times, I don't think velocity matters. At least up to the point where the velocity is so great as to cause cavitation. Of course, that's just my opinion and it's a much debated topic.

    Bob
     
  24. I dont know the solution to your problem.... but I'll tell you my situation. C59A engine in an A, Mustang radiator with 7lb cap, Drake waterpumps, no stats, water/antifreeze/Purple Ice. Damn thing runs too cool.... like about 170 degrees. I'm going to either remove the fan or fit stats to get it up to around 185. With this in mind, I would suggest remove your stats and check your timing. If it still happens, try a bottle of Purple Ice, it's good stuff. I'm not much of a fan (hahahaha) for electric fans with flatties, is yours a puller or pusher?
     
  25. forty1fordpickup
    Joined: Aug 20, 2008
    Posts: 288

    forty1fordpickup
    Member

    Get a kit to check the coolant for combustion gases. You may have a head gasket leak. Late timing and lean mixture will have a major effect on making heat in a Ford flathead. These engines are similar to a fire tube boiler. The exhaust passages go through the water jacket. Anything that raises EGT will raise the coolant temps. I fought this battle with my pickup. more air flow, more water flow and correct timing are the prime suspects. IMO restrictors are a fallacy. They are a patch for another problem.
     
  26. Water is still a far better conductor of heat than cast iron. I never bought into the water-flowing-too-fast-to-cool myth.

    Bob
     
  27. ace high
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 202

    ace high
    Member

    Electric fan is a puller--- Hated to use it, but I Attempted every possible option to get a mechanical fan in there but there is absolutely no room. Also I had to trim the front crank pulley off for clearance
     
  28. bobscogin
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,745

    bobscogin
    Member

    Agreed, and it seems to me that an aluminum radiator could absorb heat from the water a lot more efficiently than heat transferring out of cast iron could heat it. Speaking of aluminum absorbing heat, what affect does aluminum heads have on a flathead's cooling? Seems like the aluminum heads would more readily absorb combustion chamber heat into the water jacket than cast iron heads would, thus raising the coolant temperature compared to iron heads.

    Bob
     
  29. Copper radiators have an "R" value that is approximately half of aluminum. This was your first mistake. You want the water running through your radiator and block as fast as possible. The thermostats are for warming the engine in cold weather and not for cooling the water in warm weather. I have never ran thermostats on a Flathead.The radiator cap seems high in pressure but is probably acceptable. You should be able to run a roadster without a fan unless you have lean or timing issues. I am not a big fan of electric fans. Advertising sells a lot of electric fans and aluminum radiators and just about every car that has heating problems have this combination.
     
  30. grego31
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 451

    grego31
    Member
    from Sac, CA

    You more than likely have some sort of combustion leak due to over flow with a 7# cap that goes away with a 16# cap. I would make sure the head gaskets are correct for the heads and block. I have seen some that were off by 1/16" or put on backwards or upside down and caused all sorts of problems. Like someone mentioned. Most major repair shops have a combustion leak tester that you could check at the radiator cap. Check that before doing anything major.
    Good luck
     

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